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Lawsuit Filed Against Suffolk County Apartment Complex for Racial Discrimination

ECBA filed suit in federal district court alleging racially discriminatory renting practices at Mayfair Garden Apartments, a 107-unit apartment complex in Suffolk County on Long Island. ERASE Racism, Inc. and the Fair Housing Justice Center worked together to send similarly qualified white and African-American testers posing as potential renters to the defendants’ property to inquire about the availability of apartments and rental terms. The tests revealed that the building superintendent treated African-American testers less favorably than white testers during 2014. ERASE Racism and the Fair Housing Justice Center are joined as plaintiffs in the suit by the African Americans testers who were discriminated against. The plaintiffs are represented by Diane L. Houk and Theodor O. Oxholm.

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ECBA Settles Race Discrimination Case Against Nassau County Landlord

A federal judge approved a settlement agreement in ERASE Racism, et al. v. LLR Realty, LLC , et al., a case filed by ECBA in 2013 alleging race discrimination at a 74-unit rental apartment building in the Nassau County village of Mineola based on a testing investigation conducted by the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC). The three-year agreement provides for injunctive relief, including the adoption of non-discriminatory rental policies, advertising available apartments, and attending fair housing training. It also provides ERASE Racism, the FHJC, and three African American testers with $165,000 in damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. Plaintiffs were represented by ECBA’s Diane L. Houk and Sam Shapiro.

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ECBA files a housing discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the Village of Great Neck Plaza and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA)

ECBA filed a housing discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the predominantly white Village of Great Neck Plaza and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA). The suit alleges that the Village zoning code discriminates against African Americans by imposing eligibility criteria for affordable housing that gives a preference to local residents. The complaint also alleges that the code excludes certain applicants for affordable housing based on age and disability. Finally, the complaint alleges that the NCIDA provided financial assistance for affordable housing in the Village subject to the zoning code’s discriminatory requirements and preferences. The two non-profit plaintiffs, Long Island Housing Services and Fair Housing Justice Center, are represented by ECBA’s Diane L. Houk and David A. Lebowitz.

To read the complaint, click here.

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ECBA files a race discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the owner and manager of two Bronx apartment buildings

ECBA filed a race discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the owner and manager of two Bronx apartment buildings on behalf of the Fair Housing Justice Center and three African American testers. The FHJC conducted a testing investigation which the complaint alleges shows that in 2013 and 2014 white testers were told about and shown vacant apartments for rent, while African Americans were told that no apartments were available. The plaintiffs are represented by ECBA’s Diane L. Houk.

To read the complaint, click here.

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ECBA files a federal lawsuit in Albany on behalf of a disabled woman raped by a fellow resident at a New York State group home

ECBA has filed a federal lawsuit in Albany on behalf of a disabled woman raped by a fellow resident at a New York State group home. The suit, against four employees of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, alleges that staff turned a blind eye to the disabled woman’s prior complaints of sexual abuse and failed to take basic steps to protect her. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages. ECBA attorneys Ilann M. Maazel, Diane Houk, and Sam Shapiro filed the suit.

To read more click here. To read the Complaint, click here.

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ECBA Settles Race Discrimination Case Against Brooklyn Landlord

A federal judge approved a settlement agreement in FHJC et al v. Kara Realty et al, a case filed by ECBA in 2013 alleging race discrimination at Brooklyn rent-stabilized apartment buildings based on a testing investigation conducted by the Fair Housing Justice Center. The agreement provides $212,000 to the FHJC and four African American testers for damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. The three-year agreement covers sixteen buildings managed by Ocean Empire Management Company and containing over 900 apartments. The agreement provides for injunctive relief, including adopting non-discriminatory rental policies, advertising available apartments, and attending fair housing training. Plaintiffs were represented by ECBA’s Katherine Rosenfeld and Diane L. Houk.

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ECBA Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court on Behalf of Former HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros and Others in Fair Housing Case

ECBA represented former HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros and ten other former HUD officials to file in an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in Township of Mount Holly, et al. v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc., et al. The brief discusses HUD’s discriminatory effects regulation and long-standing consistent application of a disparate impact theory of liability in administering and enforcing the Fair Housing Act. The brief argues that the Court should defer to HUD’s reasonable interpretation of the FHA. ECBA’s Diane L. Houk and Vasudha Talla authored the brief.

To read the complaint, click here.

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ECBA Files Race Discrimination Lawsuit Against Mineola, New York Apartment Building

ECBA filed a race discrimination lawsuit in federal court on behalf of ERASE Racism, a Long Island-based non-profit organization, the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC), and three African American testers against the owner and manager of Town House Apartments in Mineola, New York. The Complaint alleges that African Americans were not shown the same apartments that whites were shown, were quoted a higher monthly rent, and were told to call back in a month or more later because there are people waiting ahead of them for the next available apartment. The plaintiffs are represented by Diane L. Houk and Samuel Shapiro of ECBA.

To read the complaint, click here.

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ECBA Files Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against National Housing Developer

Today, ECBA filed a disability discrimination lawsuit in federal court (S.D.N.Y) on behalf of Suzanne Vilchez, a paralyzed woman who uses a wheelchair, and the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC) against Yonkers-based AVR Realty and its engineering and architectural firms. The complaint alleges that the design and construction of AVR Realty’s Powell Cove Estates, a 220-unit condominium development in Queens County, New York and Overlook Pointe in Duchess County, New York are not accessible to persons with physical disabilities. The FHJC, who sent undercover testers to both sites, confirmed that the exterior and interior construction and design of the developments did not meet the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The plaintiffs are represented by Diane L. Houk and Matthew D. Brinckerhoff of ECBA and James E. Bahamonde of the Law Offices of James E. Bahamonde, P.C.

To read the complaint, click here.

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ECBA Reaches Settlement in Housing Discrimination Case

The Fair Housing Justice Center and three African American testers reached a settlement with NASA Real Estate Corporation after suing the company for racial discrimination in its 107-unit apartment building in Sunnyside, Queens. The plaintiffs alleged that a superintendent who worked and lived at the building falsely told African-Americans that there were no vacant units available, even though he showed equally-qualified white testers vacant units available to rent in the building. In addition to monetary damages of $130,000, the settlement provides for a detailed three-year injunction that covers over 20 buildings. The plaintiffs were represented by ECBA attorneys Elizabeth S. Saylor, Diane L. Houk, and Vasudha Talla.

To read more about the settlement, please click  here.

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